sweet cherubim

sometimes i genuinely wish i could just sit down and really really TALK with liam. let him bear out his heart to me, tell me his every insecurity, fear, flaw. i feel like he has gone through so much in the last six years that we can’t even imagine. things we would never even think because he has always always tried to be so strong and able for us! i just, i want to ask how he is and if it’s not one hundred and ten percent happy and fine i want to make him feel that way because i love him so so much, admire him so so much and adore him so soooo much! i always want him to be okay and i guess i wanted you guys to know that.

Reflection on Aziraphale

Personally, I think Aziraphale has the same problem as Pearl: in the fandom, he’s portrayed as either a perfectly sweet cherubim-faced cinnamon roll, OR as a self-centered and ignorant hypocrite.

We can probably agree that Aziraphale has issues… but, he does not mean ill (unless it has to do with selling books, of course). Similar to Crowley, living among humanity didn’t turn him from Good to Evil as much as it allowed him to grow into a more complex person. His flaws - like his selfishness, his reclusiveness, his Opinions of good and evil and his determination to do the Right Thing by most means necessary (the last two being Heaven’s influence and which, interestingly, change by the end) - they all stand out because he’s supposed to be an angel, a beacon of goodwill and an endless pit of patience and kindness. But he’s not. He’s just a bloke who loves books more than is strictly necessary. His moral difficulties are not to be excused, but nobody would be judging him as harshly if he were a demon or a human instead.

My absolute favorite theme in Good Omens is how ordinary it is. The unrealistic part about this fantasy is its realism. Adam the Antichrist is a normal kid who spends his days playing in the dirt with his friends, Anathema is an occultist but isn’t particularly magical or awe-inspiring… and Crowley isn’t a horned, winged monstrosity or a Fallen woobie but just a dude with a job to do and a good head on his shoulders. Crowley has six millenia under his belt, and he still doesn’t know exactly what he’s doing, he still hasn’t figured the universe out, and he can still feel helpless and lost, just like us.

Similarly, Aziraphale isn’t an average angel… which is to say, he’s average. He makes mistakes. He thinks tartan is fashionable. Aziraphale has come a long way, but he still has a long way to go. And you can see him growing as a person, through the millenia and through the eleven years of the the book. He’s not stagnant, he doesn’t exist solely to be Crowley’s foil; he learns, he doesn’t stop being himself, but he does change. At the start, “ineffable” is just code-word for “it’s His will, don’t question it.” But by the end, he’s using it to question the freaking Plan. He turned the word into an expression of free will - something, by Heaven’s definition, he isn’t supposed to have. And it came off as dickish, but by the end, he’s beginning to admit that he thinks Crowley could possibly have a “spark of good” inside of him, which totally contrasts what he said to Crowley’s face in Eden: “You’re a demon, I don’t think it’s possible for you to do good.”

It may not seem like much, but you have to understand that Aziraphale is not as self-aware of his real feelings as Crowley. Crowley doesn’t like Hell, and clings to his ability to tell right from wrong. Aziraphale is truly loyal to Heaven, and thinks that he already knows what’s right. Coming to the realization that you (and all of Heaven) aren’t right is hard, but ultimately, he stood right beside Crowley when he chose humanity over Heaven or Hell.

TL;DR Appreciate Aziraphale more as the somewhat ignorant but well-meaning old angel nerd he is please. He has done good too.